To conclude its midseason 7 premiere a week ago, The Walking Dead left Rick Grimes surrounded by a new batch of strangers. Instead of appearing threatened, Rick gave a smile as, according to executive producer Greg Nicotero, he thinks he found his army.
In clips and previews for the upcoming episode, New Best Friends, AMC revealed that Rick Grimes would be face to face with an apparent leader of the group played by Pollyanna McIntosh. No details have been revealed about McIntosh's role just yet, not even her name, but there is a bit of information laying around on the Internet which offers a bit of insight prior to the new episode.
Over the summer, a casting call was discovered for a character by the name of Brion -- a name never mentioned in The Walking Dead comic books. "Brion is an educated, pokerfaced leader who has a superior air and does not let his/her motives be known," the casting call's description says. Fans immediately speculated that the role would turn out to be an earlier-than-expected introduction of the Whisperers' leader Alpha from Robert Kirkman's comics.
While this group is certainly not the Whisperers, they have gone been dubbed the "Garbage Pail Kids" by Internet comment sections. However, if you ask McIntosh, she'll tell you that they call themselves "the Heapsters" on set, in reference to living in the heap of trash which is the junkyard seen at the end of Rock in the Road.
As for who this character could be based on The Walking Dead comics, the answer is "no one." This junkyard storyline appears to be exclusively written for television, though it may turn out to draw elements of events from the comics. This is something the AMC series has done in the past, such as the Wolves which were a creation for TV-only but appeared to draw from the comics group called the D.C. Scavengers.
For more on McIntosh's role and who this new character is, tune into The Walking Dead on Sunday night and check back to ComicBook.com for an exclusive interview with the actress stepping into the role.
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